About Us

The Studio

Rochester Dance Lessons has been teaching people to dance for 11 years. Our studio started by simply renting floor space for its first client 11 years ago and has grown year after year ever since. In October of 2014 our studio moved into its current location at 34 Elton Street in Rochester’s rapidly growing arts district, aptly named Neighborhood of the Arts. Our 2200 square foot ballroom has a beautifully shined floating hardwood floors and wall to wall mirrors.

Jay Ruest, Senior Instructor/Owner

I began ballroom dancing when I was 15 years old. My friends father owned and operated a dance Studio and allowed his children and their friends to learn and attend dance competitions. We all had a lot of fun, so when I was approached a couple of years later with an offer to learn how to become a teacher I gladly accepted. I began teaching full time in 2000 and it has remained my career ever since. In that time I have attended dozens of professional dance competitions winning several top awards in both the professional and pro-am divisions.

In 2005 I started my own dance studio in Rochester, NY. I am very glad to be able to say that in that time the student body has grown to levels that have exceeded my own expectations. I believe that the success of any dance studio lies in it’s ability to offer something that is unique. We all teach the same dances but it is how we get you there that will be different. Where I feel I stand out from other studios is in my endeavor to make great SOCIAL dancers out of everyone I teach. A social dancer is someone that can lead and follow. Someone that stands out on the dancefloor but does not look as if they should be wearing a feathered ballroom gown or have a competition number on there back. You can learn all of the correct techniques that the pros use without looking out of place at any wedding, dinnerdance, nightclub, or cruise. It has been my expierience that most of the people who walk into a dance studio for the first time are doing so because they just want to learn how to look comfortable on the dancefloor at an upcoming event. Only on rare occasions has someone come in to learn how to be competitive ballroom dancers. And yet nearly every studio seems to center around dance competitions and professional routines. I think that you will see that my goals and methods for teaching students is different.

Jay Ruest
Meg Pheterson

Meg Pheterson, Senior Instructor

Meg Pheterson was born and raised in Rochester, New York. She graduated from St.John Fisher College in 2007 with a Bachelors Degree in Education.

Meg has been dancing for 20 years and is classically trained in ballet and modern dance. She has been teaching ballroom dance for the past 9 years. She began her dance instruction career at an Arthur Murray Dance studio where she was employed for three years prior to opening her own studio. Meg can teach beginners to advanced students, and can provide lessons to men, women, couples and groups, structuring her lessons to the needs of her students.

Hope Letson, Senior Instructor

Hope has been dancing since the age of 5. Brought to the US by her adopted parents, they put her in a class to help her learn English and get acquainted to the environment. Since day one, Hope has never stopped dancing. It has been her passion her whole life. She grew up dancing Ballet, Tap, Jazz and Hip-Hop.

In 2011 Hope decided to broaden her dance styles and joined Inikori Dance Studio as an Instructor for 2 years, teaching and choreographing American and Rhythm dances. She branched out 2 years later to further her Ballroom career. She joined as a student at Let’s Dance Rochester. She competed in Pro American Rhythm in Toronto with her then partner and placed 2nd overall.

Hope’s dancing didn’t stop there. As she broke away from ballroom for a minute, Hope joined ElR Studios and for the next couple years she focused on her Latin dancing. Working with Darin Price, she has performed, choreographed and taught, as well a independent teaching. You will find her at many of the salsa dancing events here in Rochester, so be sure to say “hello” and save her a dance when you do!

Hope is excited to be back teaching, and looking forward to working with all different levels of students, and her main goal is to make sure each student has fun while learning.

“Dancing with the feet is one thing, but dancing with the heart is another.” ~Unknown


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